Game-day skate

Some pre-game reading:

“Auditions” continue for G&G linemate

• Pat Hickey on Carey Price’s workload

• EOTP piece on Jeff Halpern

• Steven Hindle’s Canadiens report card

• From La Presse, Ryan O’Byrne keeps his chin up

• François Gagnon on who sits when Markov returns

• Sean Gordon on old pals Subban and Tavares

• Jonathan Bernier of ruefrontenac on precious October points

Guy Carbonneau’s RDS column

• Canadiens slide to 15th in SI Power Rankings

• Michael Farber on the Kovy II mess

Kovy I scores! Twice!!

Blown call boost Leafs. Colton Orr takes out the goaltender



  1. scott9002ca says:

    Should the NHL take away the win? is that the only fair thing to do in this case? (then explain why not taking away the win would be fair).

    The ref is probably already fined (maybe even suspended but you wouldn’t even hear of it for the above reasons) so that base is covered. but that doesn’t give back a win.

    and what i meant was that if the canadiens were the beneficery of a bad call, or the rangers were the recipient of a bad call, then the canadiens didn’t deserve to be ranked 8th and shouldn’t have made the playoffs (i’m not saying this is the case, but there’s a good chance that someone got screwed over by a bad call) live with it, us here in montreal have made more of a stink of it than probably all of florida.

  2. Nilan4Pres says:

    If your team misses or makes the playoffs by a point, your team doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs


    It’s a point system for deciding who makes the playoffs.  Whichever teams are in the top 8 in points in there conference (settling ties with the tie breakers in place) deserve to be in the playoffs, they have earned it. It’s that simple. Also, 1 point can be the difference bettween home ice advantage for teams sitting in the 4th-5th spots. At the end of the year one point can make a huge difference.

  3. scott9002ca says:

    agreed it would seem admirable to admit a mistake, but league rules don’t allow refs to make public statements. Refs come out to coaches and captains and admit calls may have been missed sometimes, but maybe not in the nhl cuz that player would relay it to the media.

    And the argument that points are too precious in the nhl… thats bogus. If your team misses or makes the playoffs by a point, your team doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs (yes I’m saying Montreal was lucky last year to scrape by). A point lost now by a bad call and a point gained then by a bad call is just how it is. Hockey is one of the most human games where a goals are decided by a puck crossing over a blurry line (and even though they have a camera it never seems to be at a good angle)

    Point is, it was a brutal non call but it happens. The refferee probably wasn’t bribed like most think he was, and he probably didn’t have any prejudice either, and rest assured he’s kept accountable with a fine (hell I get fined when misinterpret calls, and the highest levels I ref are peewee AA and Midget A). But don’t expect to hear about the fine.

  4. 134 says:

    Where’s Stéphane Auger when you need him??


  5. K-hab25 says:

    He is an evil white european boy.

  6. pic1983 says:

    No you’re right, but that one was particularly brutal.  Theres no way he could have “missed that” and if he did “miss” it, than he needs his eyes checked.  How TWO referees “miss” it is even more brutal. 

    Maybe if a ref were to get called out every time they “missed” (AKA looked the other way) they would stop missing calls. 

    Its like that baseball umpire who blew the call costing a perfect game.  Sure he blew a young pitchers perfect game, and sure it was a blatant missed call.  At least he had the stones to come out to the media and remorecefully say “I blew it”.  I respect a man a lot more when they can at least come out and say “hey, im human, and I made a mistake”.

    With points being so precious in the NHL, we cant afford to have referees brutalizing calls as such.  That hurts their credibility more than if they actually came out and said “I am human, and I made a mistake” or were reasonably able to justify why they made that call.  At least we would understand the refs thinking. 

  7. K-hab25 says:

    He’s a right winger, like Gionta. That could be why, but you keep on believing it’s a conspiracy against the french canadian.

  8. TomNickle says:

    I meant Niederreiter.

    Will Cherry go after Nino like he did P.K. if there’s retribution taken against him tonight?

  9. Bugs says:

    Lars Eller who HASN’T scored, you mean? He should go ahead of a guy who has 3 times his points playing with 4th liners?

    …best looking player on the ice consistently…

    Ouch. Where did you get THAT?

    No, Brownie. Poolio is still ahead of Eller, I’m afraid.

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  10. SmartDog says:



    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  11. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Cammy’s a good white Ontario boy,  Cherry would never use his Coach’s Corner time to criticize him.

  12. CBrady12 says:

    Waddya mean….TSN is the home of the habs!!!

  13. Chuck says:

    I’d dress O’Byrne and tell him to go out and earn another start.

    Centre Hice: Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks.

  14. krob1000 says:

    camma-zorro? doesn’t work any better what do you suggest because I thought that stick by cammalleri was awful zorro like.

    my name is Iniga Cammontoyaleri you killed my father ..prepare to die….?

  15. pic1983 says:

    I totally agree that spatch should sit if he doesnt pick up his play by the time Markov gets back.  He’s been absolutely brutal.

    Besides, if Kovalchuk can be made a healthy scratch, than anyone can be made a healthy scratch. 

  16. pic1983 says:

    “Then, the 2nd shift JM will put whichever winger will pick up the waterbottle with their left hand.”


    hahahah thats good stuff man.  Good laugh.

  17. scott9002ca says:

    Because its as simple as “I missed it”. What else do you want to hear from the ref? they’re not publically fined or called out because that would be detriment to their credibility, and without credibility how can you ref a game? are you suggesting that everytime a ref misses or makes a bad call we cut them? we’ll be running out pretty quickly (exponentially actually because you’ll be calling up weaker and unprepared refs as a result).

  18. pic1983 says:

    Gomez just doesnt seem to try or want to adapt to other players.  He stubbornly does what he wants to do game in and game out.  Thats my issue with him.  Honestly, I would have an easier time swallowing pleks getting the $7.3 million and gomez getting plek’s $5 million. 

  19. pic1983 says:

    There actually has to be something going on behind the scenes that the public isnt aware of in terms of compensation for teams.  Either that, or bettman is some kind of master genius manipulator or hypnotist or something.  What goes on in the NHL from a business standpoint just doesnt make sense in any way, shape, or form. 

  20. Chuck says:

    Did I mention that Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks?

    Centre Hice: Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks.

  21. marlboro says:


    I really enjoy reading your posts. I think you’re a very important contributor to H I/O. ‘The 5 questions’ thing you do is also very enjoyable.  I have to say though, most of your posts involve the Salary cap.  Hearing, Gomez this, depression that..Gets old man.  I think many of us would agree the $ amount being paid to Gomez, is off, but it is what it is.  The Argument I’ve heard you make: Gomez’s money is taking away from signing somebody else, is a fair one..But I have a question though.  Since ’93, up until the institution of the cap, how good were the Habs? We could have spent to the Moon, and we sucked for at least a decade.  Maybe the playoffs, one and done.  Suck! So while I get some of your points..I think you should just enjoy whats here right now.  I think our core forwards, who are all signed here for the next 5 years. Gomez, Gio, Cammi, Plecks, are one hell of a core to build around.  I hope you don’t take this the wrong way..I value your opinion.

  22. SmartDog says:


    Man that’s just terrible.


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  23. TomNickle says:

    I would bet that he will.  Funny I never did see anything from Don Cherry criticizing him for skating all over the ice in the pre-season taking shots at the back of guys legs, their ankles and their backs.  Oh, and for trying to blind side somebody.

    So if Subban or somebody else in a Habs jersey tonight ends up injuring Niederreiter seriously, will it be a case of him having it coming to him for being so arrogant in the pre-season as a rookie?

  24. pic1983 says:

    Has the NHL ever actually called out a ref or publically apologized for a brutal call?

    I cant really think of any…REfs like Mcgoo always want to be part of the spectacle, so I dont get why the league shelters them from having to justify their actions.  Fans deserve to know what the ref was thinking.

  25. krob1000 says:

    He is expected to get sent down after tonights game to save his year of eligibility …. so I just hope he doesn’t try something dirty himself.  

  26. Jbird says:

    He played Centre VS PHX.

  27. Chuck says:

    I get it… it worked on a smaller scale last season with Halak, so now they’re expanding it to encompass the entire team. Shrewd!

    Centre Hice: Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks.

  28. TomNickle says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Max give him a gentle shove or stick in the groin.

  29. krob1000 says:

    Nino Nedereitter ….. hope you brought your sword tonight!  Zorrolerri is gonna carve you up!

  30. habs4real says:

    the Orr goal?  shameful! shameful! the league gives penalties on bush league calls yet something as blatant as goalie interference is allowed????

    wonder how much the refs got paid by leafs for allowing thay goal.

    I think the league needs to address this issue.

  31. TomNickle says:

    From the NHL rulebook page 51

    “Should a linesman witness a foul committed by an attacking player prior to the attacking team scoring a goal, the Linesman shall report what he witnessed to the Referees, the goal shall be disallowed and the appropriate penalty assessed.”

    Now, this may only apply to major, misconduct and match penalties but I highly doubt it.

  32. Timo says:

    Chuck, you don’t get it. It’s all a party of the great conspiracy game that Habs are running. They (the Habs) are secretly arranging for the media to bash the team and rank them low in order to instil the status of the underdog. It’s a brilliant strategy and a great phychological trick. It will pay off in May when other team’s have been programmed over the course of the year to think of the Habs as a team they can easily beat. That’s when we unleash the MAB.

  33. SmartDog says:


    mmmmmm……  😛

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  34. SmartDog says:

    Has Eller been playing center the last couple of games?  (I’ve caught only parts.) Because he’s looked better, at least the parts I’ve seen.  So I think I agree with you here too.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  35. TomNickle says:

    I disagree about who our best defenseman was with Markov out of the lineup.

    I will agree that he played the most minutes though.  I just don’t see a big paycheck and a lot of minutes and interpret that as being the next best thing.

  36. TomNickle says:

    Paul Kelly, but he’s a reasonable man so it will never happen.

  37. HardHabits says:

    I want to mention the “H” word.

  38. FB says:

    I would bet this was discussed at lengths with the Ref(s) by a supervisor/office.  Will the ref be suspended most likely not.  But I would bet it is now in their file.

  39. kirkiswork says:

    When Markov was out last season Hammer was our most solid defenseman. He just played too many minutes over the season.

    If managed correctly he will do well.

  40. Timo says:

    Eller needs to play center… he looks a lot better in the position. And I know BP only scored one goal, but so did Gomez. My point was that BP is working hard this year and since JM showed so much patience with Gomez and Gionta clearly not working well together, why not extend it and see how the entire line consisting of the same players for more than 1/2 a game will perform. I am not on the BP bandwagon just yet, but at least he’s been physical (more or less)

  41. flanman says:

    I was referrig to Brodeur and Clemmensen, one of which is a star. Orr didn’t get away with the interferance because he’s a star lol, but got away with it because Clemmensen is net. If orr had done what he did against brodeur or miller a penalty would have been called.

  42. soflohabsfan says:

    Gotta love TSN they bury the leafs win story from last night but if would have won without that BS non call it would have been top story for a week, or worse yet it it was the other way and that non call was against the leafs TSN top story would be how they are launching a private investigation into the matter.

  43. FB says:

    A goalie interference penalty is a minor penatly and cannot be called by a linesman (as you mentioned). 

    But according to the rules goalie interference is not something the linesman may report to the referee.

    I am not trying to start an argument….you may in fact be correct about the NHL.  However I have refed for over 20 years (NOT THE NHL) and this is not something a linesman can report (Hockey Canada rules not NHL rules).  But from what I have read of the NHL rules this does not appear to be permitted.


  44. mike g says:

    My dad’s cousin played in the NHL…

    He got drafted by the Flyers, played for Carolina and Wilkes-Barrie in the AHL (Pens affiliate).

    He now plays in Europe, where he’s making very good money.

    And if you read the words he said, they’re all true. Ryan OB hasn’t developed since the Habs drafted him. They wanted a rock solid defenseman, and he can’t even fill that basic role.

    Ryan knows he’s not a puck moving defenseman. Ryan knows he’s not a PP qb, and he has no business worrying about getting points. All he knows is that he’s been identified as a solid defensive d-man, like Josh Georges.

    And look who has develloped into the better player. The smaller guy with a heart as big as this city, who isn’t affraid to break some teeth.

    Ryan doesn’t have the “jam” to fit his role in the NHL. Mike Komisarek, for as terrible as he is defensively and at making passes, identified his role in the NHL as being a rough and tough SOB to play against.

    Ryan is bigger than Komi, and knows he has to fill the same role. Problem is, he’s not willing to do it.



    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  45. blu3chip says:

    I totally agree that we should put Pouliot with GG for at least 5 games. Now that our Cammy-Plek-AK line is working well, we don’t need to rush it and keep shuffling players.

  46. TomNickle says:

    I made the comment here before the pre-season even started that I expected White and Pacioretty to give Pyatt a run for his money.

    White definitely did.

    He’s gonna be a good one……really good.

    Maxwell was told by the Habs that he needs to play every shift with confidence to make the NHL.  They know it’s just consistent scoring.  9 points in 6 games with the Bulldogs is a good start.

  47. Brown_Hab_Fan says:

    Dude just because Puliot scored his first goal in a 100 games doesn’t mean that he should be put back onto that line…if you ask me Lars Eller is one of the best looking playing on the ice consistently and once he gets pet there with Gomez and Gio I see can see sparks flying

  48. Jbird says:

    It was made before the win on Monday –  . . .and these thigns are stupid.  Those two things helped me understand the Power rankings.

  49. SmartDog says:

    Good post Timo.  I agree.  And I think the answer is that he has his “pair” but behind that there is the belief that G&G NEED to play together.  That apart they would not work.  Which, if true, means that we have $13 million tied up in two non-marquee guys who need each other to be good but can’t get going.  It’s depressing, and no-one wants to be depressed so don’t think about it.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  50. avatar_58 says:

    Gretzky? Dryden?

  51. Chuck says:

    If Kovy II can be benched for a night, then surely Spacek could sit for a night.  🙂

    Centre Hice: Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks.

  52. TomNickle says:

    O’Byrne doesn’t deserve to play in lieu of anyone else who is currently playing.

    That’s the bottom line.

  53. Chuck says:

    We have a 5-2-1 record and sit near the top of the standings. How can SI rank us 15th in their power rankings. and do it with a straight face?

    Centre Hice: Colton Orr owes me 15 bucks.

  54. mike g says:

    Sounds like you’re onto something, nice post…

    Problem is you can’t take it away from them. They’ve got it now, and won’t let it go. The only way we get it back is if we stop going to and watching the games, and that won’t happen. But if we were to do it, the league and it’s franchises will fold, and we’ll have to create another league after.

    So, the lawyers own this game for the rest of time.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  55. TomNickle says:

    Get the game out of Bettman’s hands and put it into Paul Kelly’s.

    And you’re absolutely right.  The shame is, the NHL has a great marketing department.  Their television ads are the best of any major sport.  

    You see the problem is that the owners or board of governors as Bettman likes to call them are cut from the same mold that he is.  Eugene Melnyk(tell me he isn’t getting something on the side for taking that franchise out of bankruptcy), Tom Golisano(same exact deal), how about giving a franchise to a convicted criminal(Minnesota).

    The NHL needs somebody who is business savvy and is a longtime member of the game.

  56. habitual says:

    You’ll take your Dad’s cousin’s word for it?  Really?  Is you Dad’s cousin working professionally in hockey?  No?  So he just has an opinion like everyone else here.

    If O’Byrne can’t play in the NHL, why hasn’t Montreal sent him down?  Because he would be claimed by another NHL team. Why hasn’t that happened?  Because he obviously has the talent to not give up on him, except at the rate he is being played that may well be the inadvertent effect?


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